Farming For The Future With Landmark Planning Reforms

The Andrews Labor Government is overhauling Victoria’s agricultural planning rules with a suite of proposed reforms that strike the balance between delivering for farmers and meeting community expectations.

The proposed changes will simplify planning requirements for animal based farming and will improve the consistency of how the rules are applied. The reforms aim to make the land use planning process clearer for farmers, councils and the community.

This work delivers on key actions under Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries, the Labor Government’s response to the 2016 Animal Industries Advisory Committee report.

A two month consultation period begins today seeking feedback on proposed new land use terms and definitions, graduated planning controls and guidance to help improve the quality of planning applications and permit conditions.

The reforms have been developed with significant input from a reference group comprising key industry sectors, local government and community members.

The changes include new land use terms and definitions that will reduce regulation for farmers with grazing animals and small-scale pig and poultry farms that are low risk.

Benefits for farmers include greater certainty due to clearer land use definitions and planning controls, more flexibility to supplementary feed their livestock without the need for a planning permit, and permit exemptions for small scale pig and poultry producers.

Further opportunities to simplify planning requirements for low risk farming will be explored in 2018 and 2019 as part of the ongoing Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries initiative.

To facilitate feedback during the consultation period, several information sessions will be held across the state and public responses can be submitted until Tuesday 14 November 2017.

To find out more about the planning reforms, including the timing and location of information sessions, go to agriculture.vic.gov.au/planning-animal-industries

Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“Through these landmark reforms, we will protect prime agricultural land and put our farmers first.”  

Quote attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“Reducing regulation and making the rules clearer will ensure the needs of farmers are properly balanced with the wider community.”

Quote attributable to Founder of Blackmore Wagyu Beef David Blackmore

“These common sense recommendations provide certainty in protecting our right to farm and reinforce that Australian farmers are leaders in world’s best practice animal husbandry and farming methods.”